Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Coffee Beans


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[A Definitive Guide to the 4 Main Types of Coffee Beans]

Hi, This is Aliza Arzoo, In this article, we will introduce and identify the characteristics of the four main types of coffee beans.

If you wanted to know Different Types of Coffee Beans. Read this article carefully

First of all, there are 4 main types of coffee beans. The names of these coffee beans are Robusta, Liberica, Excelsa, and Arabica. There are also sub-types of these beans. But these are the main bean types. These types of beans take on different flavors while they are being processed and harvested.


1st Liberica: Liberica is a low yield type of coffee compared to Arabica and Robusta.

2nd Robusta: While Arabica is the most popular, Robusta is cheaper and stronger. Because of its bitter flavor, you’ll typically see Robusta used for espresso drinks and in instant coffee mixes. If your Monday morning is lagging, reach for a cup of coffee that uses Robusta beans. Their high caffeine content will wake you right up!


3rd Arabica: Arabica is the most popular type of coffee, hands down. Depending on who you ask, many coffee enthusiasts prefer using Arabica beans due to its taste. Typically used for black coffee, Arabica beans have a sweeter, more complex flavor that you can drink straight. Funny

thing is, even though it’s the most popular, it doesn’t have as much caffeine as Robusta.

4th Excelsa: The Excelsa coffee bean has been recently re-classified as a member of the Liberica family. However, taking a closer look at this variety, you can see that the two flavors couldn’t be any more different.

We have covered so far 4 main types of beans. Now it’s time to learn the characteristics of these coffee beans according to countries.

1st Arabica

The Coffea Arabica bush is grown all around the world and is the bean that over seventy percent of all coffee is made from.

This bean is super flavourful. Depending on which region it is grown in determines the flavor of the bean. For example, the SumatraJagong blend that was included in the Blue Coffee Subscription box is grown in Sumatra and has notes of dark chocolate orange and rose, whilst the Kenya Rioki AA blend grown in Kenya has notes of fig, orange blossom, and butterscotch.


The Arabica coffee bean has a milder flavor and less caffeine than the other coffee beans out there. When you brew this coffee at home, be sure to buy an Arabica coffee that has a full body and lower acidity.

Another note to mention is that this type of coffee bean when brewed is best served hot and does offer a better flavor when used with a pour-over or drip coffee technique. The quality of the Arabica bean diminishes when served cold or with creamer.

Other popular varietals of Arabica coffee are Typica, Caturra, Bourbon, and Blue Mountain.

2nd Robusta

The Robusta beans contain less oil than the Arabic beans which tend to give them a more acidic and bitter taste, which is why this variety is used in coffee drinks like espresso.

The Robusta bean is a less expensive bean than the Arabic bean and is what you will find being used in drinks on supermarket shelves as well. This is due to the higher caffeine content, at least fifty percent more than the Arabica bean.


Higher quality Robusta beans have a smooth texture, low acidity, and often have hints of chocolate associated with their flavor profile. One of our favorite Robusta blends is the Myanmar NguShwelli SL34 with notes of plum, green apple, and toffee.

This is a perfect coffee for cream and sugar lovers! A good quality Robusta will not lose flavor when adding milk or sugar.

3rd Liberica

Liberica beans can be pretty big in size, and have the unique characteristic in which many Liberica beans are asymmetric – one side is “lower” than the other, causing a little “hook” at the bottom of the bean. It is the only bean species in the world with this irregular shape.

Its almond-shaped beans give off an amazing aroma, almost floral and fruity, whilst its flavor is full and slightly smokey. It is an entirely separate species of coffee, with a very distinctive taste profile.


Many people who purchase the Liberica coffee bean uses it to mix with other varieties like Arabica and Robusta, making it add a true wow factor to your morning cup of joe.

Those coffee lovers who have had Liberica coffee say that it is unlike any coffee they have ever tasted- with many saying it does not even taste like coffee, stating that it tastes very woody in flavor.

4th Excelsa

Excelsa grows mostly in Southeast Asia and accounts for a mere 7% of the world’s coffee circulation. It is largely used in blends in order to give the coffee an extra boost of flavor and complexity, better affecting the middle and back palate. Excelsa is said to possess a tart and


fruity body—which are flavors reminiscent of a light roast—that also somehow has dark, roasted notes. This mystery lures coffee drinkers from around the world to try and seek out the varietal.

Drinks for Different Kinds of Coffee Beans

From regular brewed coffee to a fancy specialty espresso drink—you can make many different brews with a few small beans. Whether you’re a casual drinker or a coffee connoisseur, there are numerous coffee drinks you can create using various kinds of coffee beans and roasts.

Here are some of the most popular types of beverages you can make, whether you’re using robusta, arabica, or any other kind of beans.

Black Coffee: Black coffee is the simplest caffeinated drink you can get and is one of the most popular ‘pick me up’ beverages that people love. You can whip up regular black coffee at home using any coffee bean. It’s the perfect balance of acidity and bitterness, giving you a delicious way to perk up your mornings.

Espresso: If you’re looking for more caffeine and an overall ‘stronger’ taste, go for espressos. An espresso shot can come from any coffee beans but needs to be ‘finely’ ground for the best results. This coffee drink is the foundation of the most popular caffeinated beverages today. You can get in a single shot, doppio (double shot), and lungo (long-pull) espresso, depending on how robust you want your coffee to be.

Latte: One of the most popular ‘cafe drinks’ out there is the latte, consisting of espresso shots, steamed milk, and a subtle milk foam layer. You can order or make lattes plain or add in some flavors, ranging from classic vanilla to unique ones like pumpkin spice.


Cappuccino: If you’re looking for a more potent brew, cappuccinos are a great choice, satiating your craving for more caffeine and sweetness as it often gets topped off with cocoa powder or cinnamon.

Americano: For coffee lovers who want to get more out of their favorite espresso shot, opt for an Americano. It’s essentially an espresso shot diluted in hot water, giving you more to enjoy during hectic mornings.

Cortado: Cortado is the perfect balance of espresso and steamed milk, cutting back on the coffee’s acidity levels, giving you a smooth brew to perk up your mornings.

Café au Lait: For the coffee minimalist looking for a subtle flavor boost and want to keep the brew’s energizing properties, the café au lait is a fantastic choice. All you need to do is add a splash of milk to your brewed coffee, and you’re ready to go.

Red Eye: A unique brew you can make using any coffee bean is the red-eye, helping you get through tiresome mornings. Red-eye consists of a full cup of hot brewed coffee and an espresso shot, giving you an efficient way of perking up your mornings.

Macchiato: Macchiatos are a fun beverage you can make using espresso and is a trendy coffee drink that many young coffee connoisseurs love. It’s a perfect mix of a cappuccino and a doppio.

Affogato: For coffee lovers who’d like to cool off while enjoying the energizing benefits of caffeinated brews, an affogato is a perfect option. It gives you an excuse to enjoy your favorite ice cream at any time of the day, typically served with an espresso shot and vanilla ice cream.

Types of Roasting Coffee Beans

There exist various types of coffee, with a disparity in color, taste, type of roast, and amount of caffeine. The different variations are all readily available, which makes choosing the right one difficult. If you’ve ever felt confused and lost within the grocery coffee aisle, you’re not alone. City, French, Viennese, Cinnamon–there is a wide variety of coffee and almost as many variances of roasts!

Have you ever wondered what the roasting process is all about?

The bean is that seed inside a coffee cherry. Before they are subjected to the roasting process, coffee beans are green and have almost no aroma, aside from an earthy, grassy smell. Coffee bean roasting is the process that turns coffee beans into the delicious cup of coffee you enjoy drinking. The process toasts the coffee beans, darkens their color, and gives the beans a chocolate caramel flavor. At very high temperatures, oils are seen on the surface of the coffee beans.

At approximately 401°F, the beans get a primary crack and start to expand. As the temperatures rise to 437°F, they crack a second time. High-quality coffee beans should not be roasted beyond 482°F. Beyond that temperature, they’ll start to thin out and acquire a burnt taste. You don’t want to drink charcoal!

Roast names and descriptions don’t seem to be universal within the coffee industry, and roasting may be a component of art and part science. All that variation can make it a touch tricky to decide on the right bag of beans. However, you got to be able to tell the roast level by the looks of the bean and what it tastes like. Although the bean itself matters, coffee acquires most of its aroma and rich flavor from the roasting process. The amount of time of the roasting process can influence many things, including the body size, acidity levels, and flavor of your tasty beans. To enhance your coffee knowledge, we’ll look at the four major sorts of coffee roasts.

1st Lightly Roasted Coffee

Light roasts are roasted for the littlest amount of time. Lightly roasted beans generally reach an indoor temperature of 356°F – 401°F, right after the first crack occurs. These beans tend to lack oils on them since they have not been subjected to high enough temperatures.

The longer the time a bean is roasted, the more the heat pulls out the caffeine, and thus the higher the acidity. This suggests that light roasts have the very best caffeine and thus the highest acidity. Light roasts can have a special taste profile because the shortened roasting process prevents some chemical changes from occurring inside the bean. Original flavors of the bean are highly recognized in light roasts because the flavors that originate from the roasting process aren’t prominent. The acidity in light roasts is usually amid a citrus or lemon tone, which some people find pleasing to the palate.

2nd Medium Roasts

Medium roasted coffee reaches internal temperatures of 410°F-428°F. This is often after the first crack and just before the second crack occurs. They have a fuller body than the light-weight roast and lesser acidity. Medium roasts are what the standard American coffee drinker is familiar with. These roasts are considered to possess balanced flavors. The acidity levels and body size of a medium roast are not constant but are usually somewhere within the middle. A few examples of medium roasts include; House blend, Breakfast roast, and American Roast.


3rd Highly roasted Coffee

Beans roasted to medium-dark reach an indoor temperature of 437°F – 446°F. This may be during or just after the second crack. The medium-dark roasts will start showing some oils on the beans’ surface because the temperatures are high enough. These medium-dark roasts have a richer, fuller flavor, more body, and lesser acidity. Vienna Roast and Full-City Roast are some samples of a medium-dark roast coffee blend.

4th High Bean Roast

The roasting temperature for a dark roast is very high and ranges between 464°F – 482°F. Oils are seen on dark roast beans. Typically, you cannot taste any original flavors in a dark roast, since the high temperatures during the roasting process completely change the flavor of the coffee beans.

Dark roasts have sweeter flavors because the sugars within the coffee beans have time to caramelize. The longer the time taken in the roasting process, the richer the flavor acquired and

the fuller the body, which regularly leads to it having a buttery finish. They even have the tiniest amount of acidity of all coffee roasts. Dark roasts have the littlest amount of caffeine because they’re roasted the longest. French roast is taken into consideration because of the darkest roast and encompasses a pronounced smoky flavor. In the event where coffee beans are roasted at a period longer than a French roast (482°F), the oils and sugars within the bean end up burning.

Dark roasts often have European names as a result of the popularity of dark roasts in Europe, like Italian roast.

Coffee Origins

coffee-beans, coffee-origin

The place of origin of the coffee has everything to do with the taste and aroma of the different types of coffee beans. The factors that influence the quality of the coffee are the climate, amount of rainfall, height above sea level, and the amount of time the coffee trees receive sunlight.

While there are many coffee producing countries in the world, only a few leave a mark as they have the best coffee beans in the world. Most of the Coffee that we consume is from the following countries.

1st Vietnam

The coffee trees planted in Vietnam are mainly Robusta and Arabica. Vietnamese coffee is famous for being some of the best available. Vietnam is the largest producer of Robusta Coffee in the world. Therefore, it is unsurprising that for travelers and ex-pats in Vietnam, Coffee is the most sought after souvenir and most often consumed beverage product.

2nd Colombia

Colombia traditionally grows arabica beans, and its unique geography makes it perfectly suited for producing a delicious, high-quality brew. Columbian Coffee can be roasted any way you like. If you want to dark roast it, you can. Most Columbian is a medium roast, but a fair amount is dark roasted.

3rd Guatemala

Coffee plant varietals grown in Guatemala are mainly Typica and Bourbon, but also grown are Catuai, Caturra, and Pache. Coffee from Guatemala can be the perfect balance of full-bodied, strong and sweet with gentle acidity and complex flavor notes.

4th Costa Rica

Costa Rica has only two main seasons the dry season and the rainy season, both of which provide ideal coffee growing climates. All of these factors have a great impact on the aroma, body, flavor, and acidity of the coffee that we produce. The soils are enriched by volcanic ash, which oxygenates the beans, giving them richer flavors. It is the only country in the world where it is illegal to produce any type of coffee other than 100% Arabica, the highest quality of coffee beans.

5th Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has enjoyed a long association with high-quality coffee because of the rich volcanic soil, altitude, and climate of its interior, which provide the perfect place to grow coffee plants.

Puerto Rican Coffee to be rich, aromatic, creamy, potent, and soulful, with a signature sweetness that serves as its hallmark and experts suggest it is better enjoyed black and without sugar.

6th Tanzania

Coffee production in Tanzania is a major aspect of its economy, as it is Tanzania’s largest export crop. Tanzanian coffee production averages between 30-40,000 metric tons annually, of which approximately 70% is Arabica, and 30% is Robusta.

7th Jamaica

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is a special variety of coffee that is grown in the Blue Mountains region. It is famous for its scent and sweet taste. The cost of JBM is relatively high due to supply and demand. The supply of JMB is low because space on those Blue Mountains is limited, and demand is high. JBM coffee is unique and tasty, but unfortunately, it’s one of the rarest coffees in the world.

8th Arabian Peninsula

Coffee farming and trade began on the Arabian Peninsula. Arabic coffee, commonly known as Gahwa, is a drink is a sign of hospitality when welcoming visitors or guests to the Arabian Peninsula.

9th Zambia

Zambia does not grow coffee on a large scale like Ethiopia and Kenya, but its coffee is sought by buyers in Japan, the United States, and Europe. Zambia grows and exports washed Arabicas, including its premier Triple-A brand coffee mainly shipped to Japan. Hand Washed Sun Dried Arabica Coffee, grown under warm African skies, on ancient lands fed by clear Zambian waters, is an exquisite coffee in the highest tradition of African Arabica.

10th Zimbabwe

The Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe are well suited for growing arabica coffee. Highly aromatic, Zimbabwe coffee is medium-bodied with a medium density and lively berry-like or citrusy acidity. Typically wet-processed (washed), a good Zimbabwe coffee is well-balanced with a rich flavor and fine aftertaste. In particular, coffee from the Chipinge region is respected.

11th Kenya

Kenya exclusively grows Coffee Arabica. The Kenyan highlands, rich volcanic soils, and ample rainfalls offer the best environment for the production of high-quality Kenya’s popular Arabica coffee. In addition to ideal growing conditions, Coffee from Kenya stands above the rest because of the care coffee producers take throughout the growing and processing of their coffee. Diseases and insect pests control are given special attention. Coffee plant management involving pruning, timely harvest, and processing are taken seriously.

12th Ethiopia

Ethiopia is home to rich Arabica coffee, which accounts for the country’s 60% foreign income. Ethiopia ranks as the seventh-largest coffee producer in the world, with the majority of the growers being small-scale farmers. The beans come in three categories of long berry, short berry, and mocha. Much of the Coffee carries wine and herbal notes.

13th Indonesia

Indonesia is the leading producer of different types of coffee beans on the Asian continent. The main type of coffee beans in this country is Arabica with sharp, spicy notes, and a bright aroma. The Arabica coffee beans from Indonesia are also expensive.

14th Hawaiian Islands

Kona coffee is the local name for coffee (Coffea arabica) grown on the slopes of the Big Island of Hawaii. Kona coffee is classified as one of the high costing coffees in the world.

15th India

The first record of coffee growth in India is following the introduction of coffee beans from Yemen. All over the world, Indian coffee is said to be the finest coffee since it is grown in the shade rather than under direct sunlight. Most of the coffee growers in India are small scale farmers, and the product is mainly for export. Coffee is grown mostly in southern India under monsoon rainfall conditions hence referred to as the “Indian monsoon coffee.” Its rich and unique flavor is defined as the best Indian coffee, which is rich in flavor.

Learn more coffee history from Wikipedia


Q: What are the 4 types of coffee beans?

Ans: There are 4 primary types of coffee beans:
  1. Arabica (Coffee arabica)
  2. Robusta (Coffee canephora)
  3. Liberica (Coffee Liberia)
  4. Excelsa (Coffee Liberia)

Q: What are the top 7 coffee grinders?

Q: What is the most famous coffee bean?

Ans: Coffee Arabica and Coffee Robusta are the leading coffee species globally. Of the two, coffee Arabica is the most common and dominates the coffee production industry.

Robusta follows with a lesser production percentage as the majority of the remaining bulk.

Q: What does coffee roasting mean?

Ans: Roasting is the process of changing the physical and chemical properties of green freshly harvested coffee beans into various coffee products. The process yields uniquely aromatic, crunchy, and flavorful beans that we purchase as coffee. Coffee roasts are mostly identified by the color and physical appearance of the roasted coffee beans that range from light to dark, or extra dark.

Q: Which one has higher caffeine levels, light or dark roast?

Ans: If you decide to measure the caffeine levels of your coffee by the number of scoops, lightly roasted coffee will definitely have more caffeine because the beans are heavier than the darker roast. However, if you decide to weigh out your scoops, darker roasts will have more caffeine because they have lesser mass compared to the light roast.


Taking coffee is about tastes and preferences, getting to know what you enjoy most, and sticking with it. Basically, coffee Arabica and Robusta are the most popular. They are available all over the world, and this makes them affordable. Learn to identify different types of bean roasts and their characteristics and decide how you like to drink your coffee; hot, iced, with/without creamer? The bottom line is getting to know what works well for you and enjoying the beverage.

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1 thought on “Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Coffee Beans”

  1. Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues.
    It was really informative. Your site is very helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

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